Sherlock blinked awake to the unfamiliar glow of a cheap alarm clock blinking 2:36 AM and a blaze of humid warmth against his back. Disoriented, he shuffled his feet and tried to discern what had roused him.
He hadn’t really intended to fall asleep at all. They were out in the middle of bloody nowhere for a case, got tangled up with paperwork—local law enforcement were not as lenient as Lestrade, it appeared—and had to stay overnight (again!) in a tiny one-bed room at the arse end of Barnoldswick. The first night hadn’t been so bad; Sherlock was still puzzling over the particulars of the case, and had stayed awake almost all night working on his laptop and pacing the room by turns while John snored peacefully in the bed. He had planned a similar arrangement for their second evening, but—predictably—crashed as soon as they returned to the hotel. Apparently John hadn’t minded, and crawled right in beside him.
The double bed was narrow for two grown men, and John was throwing off heat like a furnace. Sherlock stuck his feet out of the covers even as his shoulders gravitated towards John’s solid warmth. He hadn’t wanted to share a bed at all. He was too afraid of what might happen in sleep: nightmares, shouting, tears. Waking up to John’s anguished guilt and hangdog expressions. Or, worse: a pleasant dream full of skin and soft kisses, and opening his eyes to John’s disgust as he unknowingly betrayed his deep affections. Sherlock’s skin crawled, even now, at the very thought.
His musings were interrupted by the soft huff of sound from the lump beside him. A susurrus of breath, low and drawn out, followed by a quick inhale. Sherlock smiled faintly. It was like listening to a dog dreaming, watching its feet twitch as it chased rabbits in the fields of its subconscious.
The hum was more distinct this time, broken off at the end like a sentence dropped mid-thought. When Sherlock turned his head, he could make out the tufts of John’s hair sticking out from the duvet, feel the puff of his sleep-sour breath on his own cheek. John shifted in his sleep, and then his mouth was right by Sherlock’s ear, slightly open. Sherlock closed his eyes firmly.
“Oh… mm, yeah,” John rasped, and gooseflesh rippled down Sherlock’s arms even under the oppressive warmth of the bedclothes. Another shift, and Sherlock swore he could feel John’s hand against the mattress near his arse. “Shhh….”
“John,” Sherlock tried to say, but his voice got stuck somewhere behind the roof of his mouth. He squeezed his thighs together and realized, with a flush of shame, that he was half-hard.
John would hate this. He would hate to wake up in bed with Sherlock, having a sex dream, and find Sherlock aroused because of it. That wasn’t them, wasn’t their friendship. Sherlock licked his lips again—God, why were they so dry?—and inched his way toward the edge of the bed.
The extra space only seemed to encourage John. Even in sleep he sought the comfort of another body, and rolled hard up against Sherlock’s side, wet mouth smearing against his neck. He was panting now, little rhythmic huffs that sent pangs of arousal through Sherlock’s thighs.
John’s hand found Sherlock’s arse and squeezed, and stayed there. Dug in a little, massaged the fleshy cheek, thumb working into the crease even through pants and pajamas. Sherlock yelped into his pillow. “God,” John breathed, slurred in his sleep, and there was a rhythm now, a slight shiver in the mattress as he frotted against the sheets. “God, shhh.”
Frustrated, irritable, and rock-hard against the mattress, Sherlock snarled in a half-whisper: “You shhh!”
“Oh,” breathed John, squeezing, pushing himself into Sherlock’s body. “Oh. Sherlock.”
The arousal soured in his belly and Sherlock froze. John was awake. He was awake and disgusted and was going to get out of bed and leave forever.
“Shhh, mmmmm. Sherlock. Yeah. Oh.”
Sherlock held his breath. John was still asleep. John was asleep and dreaming of him. He choked a little, pushed his face into the pillow. John’s hand on his arse rubbed, John’s hips twitched and shimmied and found Sherlock’s thigh. John’s erection was hot and hard and far, far bigger than Sherlock had even dared estimate.
“Sherlock,” John moaned, and Sherlock growled and took himself in hand. God he was hard, harder than he had been in ages. He pulled at himself, hot with shame and arousal, and panted into the pillow. John was rutting frantically against him now; how could he still be sleeping?
Everything stilled. The room seemed full of heaving breaths, heavy with the scent of sweat and musk. The slightest whisper of John’s tongue against his lower lip.
“Sherlock? Are you…”
“I’m awake,” Sherlock rasped, voice thick with suppressed arousal. “You… you were dreaming. Vividly.”
John seemed to realize he was really copping a feel, and he pulled his hand away. Sherlock couldn’t quite suppress the groan of disappointment.
“Oh.” John touched him again, tentatively: the middle of the back where he was damp with sweat, his hipbone, the path of his wrist disappearing into his pajamas. Sherlock’s hips shifted, and John’s palm found his turgid prick, cupped it firmly. Sherlock made a broken sound and pushed back. “Oh, fuck,” breathed John, straight into his ear. He squeezed. “Fucking hell that’s nice.”
“D’you like that, then? I didn’t know… didn’t think…”
Sherlock couldn’t bring himself to answer. His face was half buried in the pillow, mouth open and tongue dry, and oh, God, he was coming in John’s hand, coming into his pants with John’s hand around the whole package, feeling the wet soaking through against his palm. John shuddered and nipped Sherlock’s upper back. Pushed his hand into his own pants and drew himself out, rubbed the head against the small of Sherlock’s back. Where he had been so loud before, now, awake, he was silent, panting harshly but making no other noise as he pushed into Sherlock’s heated skin and spread hot, sticky smears of come into the crack of his arse.
Sherlock was suddenly overcome with drowsiness. Sticky in front and back, he let John pull him into a vaguely spoonlike position and tried to speak. “John…”
“Morning,” John interrupted. “In the morning, ’kay?” His hand found Sherlock’s, squeezed. “It’s fine. I promise.”